Harsco Corp. announced today that Patrick K. Decker has stepped down as president, CEO and member of the board of directors, effective immediately, to become CEO of Xylem Inc.
Harsco director David C. Everitt has been appointed interim president and CEO and will continue as a member of the board, Harsco said in a news release.
A member of the Harsco board since 2010, Everitt has significant senior executive experience from his 37-year career with Deere & Co. He served as co-leader of the Agriculture and Turf Division, John Deere's largest operating division, and also held several other senior leadership positions.
"Patrick has led Harsco through a critical period of its transformation and, together with the leadership team and board, has implemented a strategic plan to improve operating efficiency and position the company for long-term growth," said Henry W. Knueppel, chairman of Harsco's board.
"We are pleased that Dave has agreed to assume the role of interim president and Chief Executive Officer and are confident that his in-depth knowledge of Harsco and his expertise as a successful senior executive will allow us to effect a seamless transition as we search for a permanent CEO," Knueppel added.
Everitt has served on the Audit and Management Development and the Compensation committees at Harsco. He is a 1975 graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.
Under his leadership, Harsco will continue to execute its strategic plan to "turnaround the Metals & Minerals business, grow our Rail and Industrial platforms, and develop an active, lean corporate center," Knueppel said.
"Harsco is a great company with significant opportunities to enhance shareholder value," Everitt said. "My focus will be on continuing to execute on our current strategic plan to leverage the full capabilities of our portfolio. I look forward to working with Henry, the board and the rest of the senior management team to build upon our strong foundation and position Harsco to deliver top quartile returns for our shareholders in the years ahead."
The board will begin its search process immediately and will engage a leading executive search firm to assist in this process, the release said.